Demon swimmers edge Durango at the Western Slope Championships |

Demon swimmers edge Durango at the Western Slope Championships

GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado – Mark Bauer and his coaching staff for the Glenwood Springs High School girls swimming team took a dive on Saturday. Turns out it was an alternative to a celebratory Gatorade bath.

“I love it,” the Demons coach said after his team eked out a one-point victory in the team standings of the Western Slope Championships at the El Pomar Natitorium. “We were down by one point headed into the 100-yard breaststroke and … had to beat Durango’s A and B relay teams in the 400 freestyle relay to win it.”

Instead of a Gatorade bath, Bauer and his coaching staff were thrown in the pool by their team. Bauer said he was unsure if the program, which does not receive school funding, has ever won a team title in the Western Slope Championships.

The Demons did it without a single diver on the team, eclipsing the point totals of traditional Western Slope stalwarts Durango, Montrose and Grand Junction. Glenwood finished with 424 points, with Durango (423), Montrose (343), Grand Junction (276) and Aspen (190) following.

So what does that mean to win the thing without any points scored from the diving competition?

“I guess,” Bauer said, “it means our girls are really, really good.”

Jessica Tuttle finished with a pair of gold medals during the day, winning the 200 freestyle in 1 minute, 56.04 seconds, and the 500 freestyle in 5:13.78. She was also the third leg on the Demons’ 400 free relay team which won the event in 3:42.09, giving Glenwood some of the points it needed to prevail in the team standings.

“I don’t think we realized that points were going to be a big deal until we got to the last relay,” Tuttle said. “I guess you could say that once we found out we won, we pretty much blew away the rest of our energy celebrating.”

Kendall Vanderhoof took third in the 100 freestyle in 57.08, and Hannah Grumley managed a third-place finish in the 200 intermediate medley (2:20.46) and fourth in the 100 butterfly (1:02.22). Hannah Peterson finished just behind Grumley in the 100 fly and was also fifth in the 100 breaststroke.

The Demons will compete next at the Class 4A State Championships in Thornton, which will run Friday and Saturday.

“I would really like to see all of us get back to the finals,” Tuttle said. “We’d love to show all of those big schools out there just how much a little school like Glenwood Springs can do.”

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